A detail of San Josef Bay by Loretta Magowan.

Celebrating local artists

The wealth of artistic talent from Campbell River’s amateur artists is on display at the Campbell River and District Art Gallery this month.

The 34th annual Members Exhibition is on display at the gallery until April 16 and features art from hobbyists to all-but-professional painters, sculptors and photographers from the Campbell River area – including the Discovery Islands and Gold River – who are members of the Campbell River and District Art Gallery and the Campbell River Community Arts Council.

“This space is normally reserved for professional contemporary artists from all over Canada,” gallery curator Julia Prudhomme said, “and so this time slot is reserved specifically for local artists.”

“We have everything from a four-year-old to very talented sort of more professional artists in the community.”

This year’s exhibition has had some changes made to it, one of the biggest being that it is all peer-reviewed instead of having an outside adjudicator like has been done in the past.

“Our objective was to have it really community-based and say, ‘okay, we’re going to have a really fun time, really celebrate what everyone is doing,” Prudhomme said. “Sure there’s awards but it’s more democratic.”

So members can vote for their favourite for various awards and the public can too. Gallery visitors will be given a ballot in which to choose three specific awards: Innovation Award, Originality Award, People’s Choice Award. Plus if put your email on the ballot, one person’s name will be drawn for a prize.

This year the fee structure for youth was lowered to encourage more youth participation and it seems to have worked.

“It sort of encourages the younger part of the community to think that this is a space for them too, which is really important,” Prudhomme said.

Another new component of this year’s exhibit is TRACE fundraiser in which the participants all painted a small piece of art which is then offered for sale to the public at $50. Proceeds from the TRACE sale goes towards continuing the Members Exhibition.

“This is one of the more time-consuming exhibitions that we have,” Prudhomme said. “It’s actually really been fun because people who might not be able to buy a $1,000 painting from here…it’s sort of like okay you can have a little piece of it in your home.

“People who are in the exhibition found that it’s just really fun, creative,” Prudhomme said.

They also have scheduled two Saturdays in April – 2 and 9 – “artists in conversation” where the artists talk and ask questions of each other.

“As a means of education and talking about why these people make what they do,” Prudhome said. “Get people talking and thinking more about why people make art and why it’s important.”

For more information visit crartgallery.ca.

Quinsam River Light by Judy Hilgemann.

 

Stone Dancer by Jerry Kujath.